HGTV vs. Reality: What’s Real? What’s Fantasy? What Can You Really Expect During Your Renovation?

What’s your favorite HGTV renovation show? Do you love to binge-watch Property Brothers or are you a fan of local celebrities, Karen Laine and Mina Starsiak, the mother-daughter team on Good Bones?  

It’s fun to watch HGTV shows and daydream about your own home renovation plans. Peeking in on someone else’s design choices to can help inspire your own ideas. But to have the best possible experience with a renovation of your own, it’s important to sort the fantasy elements of these shows from reality.

sitting room
Drapes by Drapery Street | Design by Stephanie Wiott Designs

While HGTV shows are designed to look spontaneous, participants are scouted and chosen ahead of time, and the show’s producers and staff have an excellent idea of what kind of detailed work will be involved. This allows them to get the necessary permits before they ever start rolling.

They also have national contracts with major brands. The opportunity for televised national exposure gets those products to the site quickly! Likewise, by the time the show’s being filmed, HGTV has all the necessary contractors ready to go. Many of them are local business owners hoping to boost brand awareness. 

What this means is that HGTV shows have an unnaturally short timeline and a modest budget compared to what most homeowners face when renovating. Naturally, this can lead to a lot of dismay when you begin your own project and discover the truth. Most people who take on a house project find out quickly it’s much more costly and timely than what’s shown on popular renovations shows.  

before and after bedroom

A good rule of thumb is to expect your budget and timeframe to be roughly double what it is on television. And if you’re going to DIY, plan on a steep learning curve along the way, as all the issues HGTV took care of behind the scenes rear their heads.

Hiring Local Professionals

This is where hiring professionals can give you a serious edge. But be cautious when hiring tradespeople and ensure that you’re actually getting what you think you’re paying for! Be wary of contractors who offer a price far below the quotes you receive from others. A low cost usually means lower quality or a lack of experience. If they incentivize buying today, that’s a sign that they are more about the sale than what is right for you and your home. 

When choosing professionals, do your research to find out about the experience a company has with the type of job you require.  Look for reviews and referrals that include the installation experience, not just at purchase. Ask the pros you are considering what issues have come up in their other jobs and how they have been resolved. It’s a red flag if they say there are never issues. 

When it comes to window treatments, we take care of all the details like measuring, installing, steaming, consulting with your other tradespeople, and putting up temporary shades while you’re waiting for your custom Hunter Douglas window treatments to be installed.

We use a consultative design process to customize your ideal treatments based on your style, budget, light control & privacy needs. We find this method helps our customers avoid expensive mistakes by getting their window treatments right the first time. And if for some reason a blunder occurs or you don’t love your treatments, we will fix it. We offer a Love It Guarantee, Hunter Douglas Limited Lifetime Warranty, and Right Choice Promise™ so you can buy with confidence

looking at blind samples

Expertise Matters

Having the full attention of experts matters. The specific details you love on Fixer Upper don’t always translate to your project. Looking at a room design through a tv screen can affect your perception of color, as well as the impact of textile patterns. HGTV uses specialized lighting and hard-to-get camera angles that show a room to its best advantage. What looks good on screen might not look or function right in your home. Our full-service team will help you make window treatment selections that will function and look beautiful in your unique space.

Experts know all the peaks and pitfalls of a home renovation. We can eyeball your inspiration and translate it, so you can get the effect you want in the space you’re actually dealing with. And our expertise and professional relationships can smooth the path for you as the process unfolds. So dream HGTV dreams, and we’ll put foundations under them.

Get started by requesting your complimentary design consultation.

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